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Kingdom Hall

Kingdom Hall

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A Kingdom Hall is a place of worship
Place of worship
A place of worship or house of worship is an establishment or her location where a group of people comes to perform acts of religious study, honor, or devotion. The form and function of religious architecture has evolved over thousands of years for both changing beliefs and architectural style...

 used by Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses is a millenarian restorationist Christian denomination with nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity. The religion reports worldwide membership of over 7 million adherents involved in evangelism, convention attendance of over 12 million, and annual...

. The term was first suggested in 1935 by Joseph Franklin Rutherford
Joseph Franklin Rutherford
Joseph Franklin Rutherford , also known as "Judge" Rutherford, was the second president of the incorporated Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, and played a primary role in the organization and doctrinal development of Jehovah's Witnesses, which emerged from the Bible Student movement established...

, then president of the Watch Tower Society, for a building in Hawaii
Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

. Rutherford's reasoning was that these buildings would be used for preaching the "good news of the Kingdom." Jehovah's Witnesses use Kingdom Halls for the majority of their worship
Worship
Worship is an act of religious devotion usually directed towards a deity. The word is derived from the Old English worthscipe, meaning worthiness or worth-ship — to give, at its simplest, worth to something, for example, Christian worship.Evelyn Underhill defines worship thus: "The absolute...

 and Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

 instruction.

Witnesses prefer the term "Kingdom Hall" over "church", noting that the term often translated "church" in the Bible refers to the congregation of people rather than a structure.

Location and presentation



Kingdom Halls are typically modest, functional structures with practicality in mind. As Witnesses do not use religious symbols, such are not displayed on or in Kingdom Halls. An annual yeartext, or "theme scripture", which is the same for all congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses worldwide, is prominently displayed in each Kingdom Hall. This text can be displayed in several languages if the Hall is used by foreign language congregations. A Kingdom Hall typically has a library
Library
In a traditional sense, a library is a large collection of books, and can refer to the place in which the collection is housed. Today, the term can refer to any collection, including digital sources, resources, and services...

, contribution
Donation
A donation is a gift given by physical or legal persons, typically for charitable purposes and/or to benefit a cause. A donation may take various forms, including cash, services, new or used goods including clothing, toys, food, and vehicles...

 boxes, and a literature counter, where publications are displayed, stored and dispensed.

Some Kingdom Halls have multiple auditorium
Auditorium
An auditorium is a room built to enable an audience to hear and watch performances at venues such as theatres. For movie theaters, the number of auditoriums is expressed as the number of screens.- Etymology :...

s to allow more than one congregation to simultaneously conduct meetings. Where there is more than one auditorium, each auditorium or the entire structure may both be referred to as "a Kingdom Hall". Larger Assembly Halls or Convention Centers of Jehovah's Witnesses, or any rented arena or stadium used for larger gatherings of Jehovah's Witnesses are also regarded 'as a large Kingdom Hall'; undignified behavior is considered inappropriate during their religious events, even if the facility is an entertainment venue
Stadium
A modern stadium is a place or venue for outdoor sports, concerts, or other events and consists of a field or stage either partly or completely surrounded by a structure designed to allow spectators to stand or sit and view the event.)Pausanias noted that for about half a century the only event...

.

Uses



Meetings for worship



Congregations typically meet in their Kingdom Halls two days each week for meetings for worship. Meetings usually open and close with song
Kingdom songs
Kingdom songs are the hymns sung by Jehovah's Witnesses at their religious meetings. Since 1879, the Watch Tower Society has published hymnal lyrics; by the 1920s they had published hundreds of adapted and original songs, and by the 1930s they referred to these as "Kingdom songs" in reference to...

 and prayer
Prayer
Prayer is a form of religious practice that seeks to activate a volitional rapport to a deity through deliberate practice. Prayer may be either individual or communal and take place in public or in private. It may involve the use of words or song. When language is used, prayer may take the form of...

. Meetings held in the Kingdom Hall include Bible readings, public talks on matters such as the Bible, family
Family
In human context, a family is a group of people affiliated by consanguinity, affinity, or co-residence. In most societies it is the principal institution for the socialization of children...

 life, Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 qualities
Quality (philosophy)
A quality is an attribute or a property. Attributes are ascribable, by a subject, whereas properties are possessible. In contemporary philosophy, the idea of qualities and especially how to distinguish certain kinds of qualities from one another remains controversial.-Background:Aristotle analyzed...

 and prophecy
Prophecy
Prophecy is a process in which one or more messages that have been communicated to a prophet are then communicated to others. Such messages typically involve divine inspiration, interpretation, or revelation of conditioned events to come as well as testimonies or repeated revelations that the...

, as well as discussion of specially-prepared study articles in The Watchtower
The Watchtower
The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah's Kingdom is an illustrated religious magazine, published semi-monthly in 194 languages by Jehovah's Witnesses via the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania and printed in various branch offices around the world...

magazine and other publications of Jehovah's Witnesses. Witnesses also meet in Kingdom Halls for preparation and prayer before engaging in their door-to-door ministry.

Schools


Among its meetings for worship, each congregation conducts a weekly Theocratic Ministry School with a common global curriculum
Curriculum
See also Syllabus.In formal education, a curriculum is the set of courses, and their content, offered at a school or university. As an idea, curriculum stems from the Latin word for race course, referring to the course of deeds and experiences through which children grow to become mature adults...

 (exceptions are made for the availability of study materials). Kingdom Halls may also be used for any of several occasionally scheduled schools, such as sign- or foreign-language classes. Kingdom Halls may also be used for schools especially developed for particular ranks, such as the Pioneer Service School for full-time preachers, and the Kingdom Ministry School for elders and ministerial servants.

In areas where the literacy
Literacy
Literacy has traditionally been described as the ability to read for knowledge, write coherently and think critically about printed material.Literacy represents the lifelong, intellectual process of gaining meaning from print...

 rate is low, congregations may also arrange to use Kingdom Halls to conduct literacy or reading classes, which non-Witnesses may also attend.

Weddings


Kingdom Halls may be used for wedding
Wedding
A wedding is the ceremony in which two people are united in marriage or a similar institution. Wedding traditions and customs vary greatly between cultures, ethnic groups, religions, countries, and social classes...

 ceremonies of Witness-baptized couples, or of an unbaptized bride
Bride
A bride is a woman about to be married or newlywed.The word may come from the Proto-Germanic verb root *brū-, meaning 'to cook, brew, or make a broth' which was the role of the daughter-in-law in primitive families...

 and groom simultaneously approaching baptism as Jehovah's Witnesses. A couple sends a request in writing to the congregation's "service committee", which assesses whether the couple is "in good standing, living in harmony with Bible principles and Jehovah’s righteous standards" and that they also approve of the members of the couple's wedding party (that is, groomsmen and bridesmaids).

Jehovah's Witnesses attach no special significance to a Kingdom Hall wedding over a secular service, and Witness couples may choose to be married elsewhere for personal or practical reasons. Kingdom Halls are not used for wedding reception
Wedding reception
A wedding reception is a party held after the completion of a marriage ceremony. It is held usually as hospitality for those who have attended the wedding, hence the name reception: the couple receives society, in the form of family and friends, for the first time as a married couple. Hosts...

s or other social events.

Funerals


Funeral
Funeral
A funeral is a ceremony for celebrating, sanctifying, or remembering the life of a person who has died. Funerary customs comprise the complex of beliefs and practices used by a culture to remember the dead, from interment itself, to various monuments, prayers, and rituals undertaken in their honor...

 services may be held in a Kingdom Hall if the body of elders considers that "the deceased had a clean reputation
Reputation
Reputation of a social entity is an opinion about that entity, typically a result of social evaluation on a set of criteria...

 and was a member of the congregation or the minor child of a member". The family of the deceased may ask any respected male member of the congregation to conduct the service, which involves a simple Bible-based discourse. Depending on family preference and local custom, a Kingdom Hall funeral may or may not have the casket
Coffin
A coffin is a funerary box used in the display and containment of dead people – either for burial or cremation.Contemporary North American English makes a distinction between "coffin", which is generally understood to denote a funerary box having six sides in plan view, and "casket", which...

ed deceased present.

Disaster relief


Disaster relief efforts of Jehovah's Witnesses are typically channeled through permanent local Disaster Relief Committees under the various branch offices, and are staged at Kingdom Halls and Assembly Halls as close as practical to the disaster area. Major disaster relief efforts include:
  • War: During the Rwandan Genocide
    Rwandan Genocide
    The Rwandan Genocide was the 1994 mass murder of an estimated 800,000 people in the small East African nation of Rwanda. Over the course of approximately 100 days through mid-July, over 500,000 people were killed, according to a Human Rights Watch estimate...

     in 1994, a Kingdom Hall property in Goma
    Goma
    Goma is a city in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the northern shore of Lake Kivu, next to the Rwandan city of Gisenyi. The lake and the two cities are in the western branch of the Great Rift Valley, and Goma lies only 13 to 18 km due south of the crater of the active...

     (then Zaire
    Zaire
    The Republic of Zaire was the name of the present Democratic Republic of the Congo between 27 October 1971 and 17 May 1997. The name of Zaire derives from the , itself an adaptation of the Kongo word nzere or nzadi, or "the river that swallows all rivers".-Self-proclaimed Father of the Nation:In...

    , now Democratic Republic of the Congo
    Democratic Republic of the Congo
    The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a state located in Central Africa. It is the second largest country in Africa by area and the eleventh largest in the world...

    ) housed 1600 Witness and non-Witness refugees. In July 1994, relief workers set up a 60-bed relief hospital at the Kingdom Hall, as well as a water treatment system.

  • Earthquake: Following the Great Hanshin earthquake
    Great Hanshin earthquake
    The Great Hanshin earthquake, or Kobe earthquake, was an earthquake that occurred on Tuesday, January 17, 1995, at 05:46 JST in the southern part of Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan. It measured 6.8 on the moment magnitude scale , and Mj7.3 on JMA magnitude scale. The tremors lasted for approximately 20...

     in 1995, six Kingdom Halls in Kobe
    Kobe
    , pronounced , is the fifth-largest city in Japan and is the capital city of Hyōgo Prefecture on the southern side of the main island of Honshū, approximately west of Osaka...

    , Japan
    Japan
    Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

     were used as relief centers and supply depots.

Following the 2010 Haiti earthquake
2010 Haiti earthquake
The 2010 Haiti earthquake was a catastrophic magnitude 7.0 Mw earthquake, with an epicentre near the town of Léogâne, approximately west of Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital. The earthquake occurred at 16:53 local time on Tuesday, 12 January 2010.By 24 January, at least 52 aftershocks...

, an Assembly Hall and three Kingdom Halls in Haiti were staffed and equipped as temporary clinics and medical centers.

  • Storm: In the ten months following Tropical Storm Allison
    Tropical Storm Allison
    Tropical Storm Allison was a tropical storm that devastated southeast Texas in June of the 2001 Atlantic hurricane season. The first storm of the season, Allison lasted an unusually long period of time for a June storm, remaining tropical or subtropical for 15 days...

     in 2001, seven Kingdom Halls were used as relief centers to dispatch volunteer crews and to store tools and materials while they organized 11,700 volunteers to repair or rebuild 723 homes.

For over two years after Hurricanes Katrina
Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was a powerful Atlantic hurricane. It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall...

 and Rita
Hurricane Rita
Hurricane Rita was the fourth-most intense Atlantic hurricane ever recorded and the most intense tropical cyclone ever observed in the Gulf of Mexico. Rita caused $11.3 billion in damage on the U.S. Gulf Coast in September 2005...

 in 2005, Kingdom Halls were used as relief centers, warehouses, and fuel depots. Nearly 17,000 Witness volunteers repaired more than 5,600 homes and 90 Kingdom Halls during their extended relief effort in the United States' Gulf Coast region.

  • Volcano: On January 18, 2002, the day after the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo, six Kingdom Halls in the vicinity received three tons of basic necessities and housed 1800 refugees. One week later, these relief centers were providing daily rations to 5000 people.

Construction


The construction crews of Kingdom Halls and larger Assembly Halls consist of volunteering Jehovah's Witnesses, sometimes from other countries, who have been pre-approved for work on construction site
Construction Site
Construction Site is a television series created by The Jim Henson Company in 1999, and consists of 7 construction vehicles. The show was broadcast on ABC Kids for a while, and had a range of videos. It was originally produced for and shown on CITV starting in 1999. In 2000 it was nominated for a...

s.

In many countries, a number of standard designs of construction are used that can be built in just a few days.
A Kingdom Hall is a place of worship
Place of worship
A place of worship or house of worship is an establishment or her location where a group of people comes to perform acts of religious study, honor, or devotion. The form and function of religious architecture has evolved over thousands of years for both changing beliefs and architectural style...

 used by Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses is a millenarian restorationist Christian denomination with nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity. The religion reports worldwide membership of over 7 million adherents involved in evangelism, convention attendance of over 12 million, and annual...

. The term was first suggested in 1935 by Joseph Franklin Rutherford
Joseph Franklin Rutherford
Joseph Franklin Rutherford , also known as "Judge" Rutherford, was the second president of the incorporated Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, and played a primary role in the organization and doctrinal development of Jehovah's Witnesses, which emerged from the Bible Student movement established...

, then president of the Watch Tower Society, for a building in Hawaii
Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

. Rutherford's reasoning was that these buildings would be used for preaching the "good news of the Kingdom." Jehovah's Witnesses use Kingdom Halls for the majority of their worship
Worship
Worship is an act of religious devotion usually directed towards a deity. The word is derived from the Old English worthscipe, meaning worthiness or worth-ship — to give, at its simplest, worth to something, for example, Christian worship.Evelyn Underhill defines worship thus: "The absolute...

 and Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

 instruction.

Witnesses prefer the term "Kingdom Hall" over "church", noting that the term often translated "church" in the Bible refers to the congregation of people rather than a structure.

Location and presentation



Kingdom Halls are typically modest, functional structures with practicality in mind. As Witnesses do not use religious symbols, such are not displayed on or in Kingdom Halls. An annual yeartext, or "theme scripture", which is the same for all congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses worldwide, is prominently displayed in each Kingdom Hall. This text can be displayed in several languages if the Hall is used by foreign language congregations. A Kingdom Hall typically has a library
Library
In a traditional sense, a library is a large collection of books, and can refer to the place in which the collection is housed. Today, the term can refer to any collection, including digital sources, resources, and services...

, contribution
Donation
A donation is a gift given by physical or legal persons, typically for charitable purposes and/or to benefit a cause. A donation may take various forms, including cash, services, new or used goods including clothing, toys, food, and vehicles...

 boxes, and a literature counter, where publications are displayed, stored and dispensed.

Some Kingdom Halls have multiple auditorium
Auditorium
An auditorium is a room built to enable an audience to hear and watch performances at venues such as theatres. For movie theaters, the number of auditoriums is expressed as the number of screens.- Etymology :...

s to allow more than one congregation to simultaneously conduct meetings. Where there is more than one auditorium, each auditorium or the entire structure may both be referred to as "a Kingdom Hall". Larger Assembly Halls or Convention Centers of Jehovah's Witnesses, or any rented arena or stadium used for larger gatherings of Jehovah's Witnesses are also regarded 'as a large Kingdom Hall'; undignified behavior is considered inappropriate during their religious events, even if the facility is an entertainment venue
Stadium
A modern stadium is a place or venue for outdoor sports, concerts, or other events and consists of a field or stage either partly or completely surrounded by a structure designed to allow spectators to stand or sit and view the event.)Pausanias noted that for about half a century the only event...

.

Uses



Meetings for worship



Congregations typically meet in their Kingdom Halls two days each week for meetings for worship. Meetings usually open and close with song
Kingdom songs
Kingdom songs are the hymns sung by Jehovah's Witnesses at their religious meetings. Since 1879, the Watch Tower Society has published hymnal lyrics; by the 1920s they had published hundreds of adapted and original songs, and by the 1930s they referred to these as "Kingdom songs" in reference to...

 and prayer
Prayer
Prayer is a form of religious practice that seeks to activate a volitional rapport to a deity through deliberate practice. Prayer may be either individual or communal and take place in public or in private. It may involve the use of words or song. When language is used, prayer may take the form of...

. Meetings held in the Kingdom Hall include Bible readings, public talks on matters such as the Bible, family
Family
In human context, a family is a group of people affiliated by consanguinity, affinity, or co-residence. In most societies it is the principal institution for the socialization of children...

 life, Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 qualities
Quality (philosophy)
A quality is an attribute or a property. Attributes are ascribable, by a subject, whereas properties are possessible. In contemporary philosophy, the idea of qualities and especially how to distinguish certain kinds of qualities from one another remains controversial.-Background:Aristotle analyzed...

 and prophecy
Prophecy
Prophecy is a process in which one or more messages that have been communicated to a prophet are then communicated to others. Such messages typically involve divine inspiration, interpretation, or revelation of conditioned events to come as well as testimonies or repeated revelations that the...

, as well as discussion of specially-prepared study articles in The Watchtower
The Watchtower
The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah's Kingdom is an illustrated religious magazine, published semi-monthly in 194 languages by Jehovah's Witnesses via the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania and printed in various branch offices around the world...

magazine and other publications of Jehovah's Witnesses. Witnesses also meet in Kingdom Halls for preparation and prayer before engaging in their door-to-door ministry.

Schools


Among its meetings for worship, each congregation conducts a weekly Theocratic Ministry School with a common global curriculum
Curriculum
See also Syllabus.In formal education, a curriculum is the set of courses, and their content, offered at a school or university. As an idea, curriculum stems from the Latin word for race course, referring to the course of deeds and experiences through which children grow to become mature adults...

 (exceptions are made for the availability of study materials). Kingdom Halls may also be used for any of several occasionally scheduled schools, such as sign- or foreign-language classes. Kingdom Halls may also be used for schools especially developed for particular ranks, such as the Pioneer Service School for full-time preachers, and the Kingdom Ministry School for elders and ministerial servants.

In areas where the literacy
Literacy
Literacy has traditionally been described as the ability to read for knowledge, write coherently and think critically about printed material.Literacy represents the lifelong, intellectual process of gaining meaning from print...

 rate is low, congregations may also arrange to use Kingdom Halls to conduct literacy or reading classes, which non-Witnesses may also attend.

Weddings


Kingdom Halls may be used for wedding
Wedding
A wedding is the ceremony in which two people are united in marriage or a similar institution. Wedding traditions and customs vary greatly between cultures, ethnic groups, religions, countries, and social classes...

 ceremonies of Witness-baptized couples, or of an unbaptized bride
Bride
A bride is a woman about to be married or newlywed.The word may come from the Proto-Germanic verb root *brū-, meaning 'to cook, brew, or make a broth' which was the role of the daughter-in-law in primitive families...

 and groom simultaneously approaching baptism as Jehovah's Witnesses. A couple sends a request in writing to the congregation's "service committee", which assesses whether the couple is "in good standing, living in harmony with Bible principles and Jehovah’s righteous standards" and that they also approve of the members of the couple's wedding party (that is, groomsmen and bridesmaids).

Jehovah's Witnesses attach no special significance to a Kingdom Hall wedding over a secular service, and Witness couples may choose to be married elsewhere for personal or practical reasons. Kingdom Halls are not used for wedding reception
Wedding reception
A wedding reception is a party held after the completion of a marriage ceremony. It is held usually as hospitality for those who have attended the wedding, hence the name reception: the couple receives society, in the form of family and friends, for the first time as a married couple. Hosts...

s or other social events.

Funerals


Funeral
Funeral
A funeral is a ceremony for celebrating, sanctifying, or remembering the life of a person who has died. Funerary customs comprise the complex of beliefs and practices used by a culture to remember the dead, from interment itself, to various monuments, prayers, and rituals undertaken in their honor...

 services may be held in a Kingdom Hall if the body of elders considers that "the deceased had a clean reputation
Reputation
Reputation of a social entity is an opinion about that entity, typically a result of social evaluation on a set of criteria...

 and was a member of the congregation or the minor child of a member". The family of the deceased may ask any respected male member of the congregation to conduct the service, which involves a simple Bible-based discourse. Depending on family preference and local custom, a Kingdom Hall funeral may or may not have the casket
Coffin
A coffin is a funerary box used in the display and containment of dead people – either for burial or cremation.Contemporary North American English makes a distinction between "coffin", which is generally understood to denote a funerary box having six sides in plan view, and "casket", which...

ed deceased present.

Disaster relief


Disaster relief efforts of Jehovah's Witnesses are typically channeled through permanent local Disaster Relief Committees under the various branch offices, and are staged at Kingdom Halls and Assembly Halls as close as practical to the disaster area. Major disaster relief efforts include:
  • War: During the Rwandan Genocide
    Rwandan Genocide
    The Rwandan Genocide was the 1994 mass murder of an estimated 800,000 people in the small East African nation of Rwanda. Over the course of approximately 100 days through mid-July, over 500,000 people were killed, according to a Human Rights Watch estimate...

     in 1994, a Kingdom Hall property in Goma
    Goma
    Goma is a city in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the northern shore of Lake Kivu, next to the Rwandan city of Gisenyi. The lake and the two cities are in the western branch of the Great Rift Valley, and Goma lies only 13 to 18 km due south of the crater of the active...

     (then Zaire
    Zaire
    The Republic of Zaire was the name of the present Democratic Republic of the Congo between 27 October 1971 and 17 May 1997. The name of Zaire derives from the , itself an adaptation of the Kongo word nzere or nzadi, or "the river that swallows all rivers".-Self-proclaimed Father of the Nation:In...

    , now Democratic Republic of the Congo
    Democratic Republic of the Congo
    The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a state located in Central Africa. It is the second largest country in Africa by area and the eleventh largest in the world...

    ) housed 1600 Witness and non-Witness refugees. In July 1994, relief workers set up a 60-bed relief hospital at the Kingdom Hall, as well as a water treatment system.

  • Earthquake: Following the Great Hanshin earthquake
    Great Hanshin earthquake
    The Great Hanshin earthquake, or Kobe earthquake, was an earthquake that occurred on Tuesday, January 17, 1995, at 05:46 JST in the southern part of Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan. It measured 6.8 on the moment magnitude scale , and Mj7.3 on JMA magnitude scale. The tremors lasted for approximately 20...

     in 1995, six Kingdom Halls in Kobe
    Kobe
    , pronounced , is the fifth-largest city in Japan and is the capital city of Hyōgo Prefecture on the southern side of the main island of Honshū, approximately west of Osaka...

    , Japan
    Japan
    Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

     were used as relief centers and supply depots.

Following the 2010 Haiti earthquake
2010 Haiti earthquake
The 2010 Haiti earthquake was a catastrophic magnitude 7.0 Mw earthquake, with an epicentre near the town of Léogâne, approximately west of Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital. The earthquake occurred at 16:53 local time on Tuesday, 12 January 2010.By 24 January, at least 52 aftershocks...

, an Assembly Hall and three Kingdom Halls in Haiti were staffed and equipped as temporary clinics and medical centers.

  • Storm: In the ten months following Tropical Storm Allison
    Tropical Storm Allison
    Tropical Storm Allison was a tropical storm that devastated southeast Texas in June of the 2001 Atlantic hurricane season. The first storm of the season, Allison lasted an unusually long period of time for a June storm, remaining tropical or subtropical for 15 days...

     in 2001, seven Kingdom Halls were used as relief centers to dispatch volunteer crews and to store tools and materials while they organized 11,700 volunteers to repair or rebuild 723 homes.

For over two years after Hurricanes Katrina
Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was a powerful Atlantic hurricane. It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall...

 and Rita
Hurricane Rita
Hurricane Rita was the fourth-most intense Atlantic hurricane ever recorded and the most intense tropical cyclone ever observed in the Gulf of Mexico. Rita caused $11.3 billion in damage on the U.S. Gulf Coast in September 2005...

 in 2005, Kingdom Halls were used as relief centers, warehouses, and fuel depots. Nearly 17,000 Witness volunteers repaired more than 5,600 homes and 90 Kingdom Halls during their extended relief effort in the United States' Gulf Coast region.

  • Volcano: On January 18, 2002, the day after the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo, six Kingdom Halls in the vicinity received three tons of basic necessities and housed 1800 refugees. One week later, these relief centers were providing daily rations to 5000 people.

Construction


The construction crews of Kingdom Halls and larger Assembly Halls consist of volunteering Jehovah's Witnesses, sometimes from other countries, who have been pre-approved for work on construction site
Construction Site
Construction Site is a television series created by The Jim Henson Company in 1999, and consists of 7 construction vehicles. The show was broadcast on ABC Kids for a while, and had a range of videos. It was originally produced for and shown on CITV starting in 1999. In 2000 it was nominated for a...

s.

In many countries, a number of standard designs of construction are used that can be built in just a few days.
A Kingdom Hall is a place of worship
Place of worship
A place of worship or house of worship is an establishment or her location where a group of people comes to perform acts of religious study, honor, or devotion. The form and function of religious architecture has evolved over thousands of years for both changing beliefs and architectural style...

 used by Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses is a millenarian restorationist Christian denomination with nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity. The religion reports worldwide membership of over 7 million adherents involved in evangelism, convention attendance of over 12 million, and annual...

. The term was first suggested in 1935 by Joseph Franklin Rutherford
Joseph Franklin Rutherford
Joseph Franklin Rutherford , also known as "Judge" Rutherford, was the second president of the incorporated Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, and played a primary role in the organization and doctrinal development of Jehovah's Witnesses, which emerged from the Bible Student movement established...

, then president of the Watch Tower Society, for a building in Hawaii
Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

. Rutherford's reasoning was that these buildings would be used for preaching the "good news of the Kingdom." Jehovah's Witnesses use Kingdom Halls for the majority of their worship
Worship
Worship is an act of religious devotion usually directed towards a deity. The word is derived from the Old English worthscipe, meaning worthiness or worth-ship — to give, at its simplest, worth to something, for example, Christian worship.Evelyn Underhill defines worship thus: "The absolute...

 and Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

 instruction.

Witnesses prefer the term "Kingdom Hall" over "church", noting that the term often translated "church" in the Bible refers to the congregation of people rather than a structure.

Location and presentation



Kingdom Halls are typically modest, functional structures with practicality in mind. As Witnesses do not use religious symbols, such are not displayed on or in Kingdom Halls. An annual yeartext, or "theme scripture", which is the same for all congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses worldwide, is prominently displayed in each Kingdom Hall. This text can be displayed in several languages if the Hall is used by foreign language congregations. A Kingdom Hall typically has a library
Library
In a traditional sense, a library is a large collection of books, and can refer to the place in which the collection is housed. Today, the term can refer to any collection, including digital sources, resources, and services...

, contribution
Donation
A donation is a gift given by physical or legal persons, typically for charitable purposes and/or to benefit a cause. A donation may take various forms, including cash, services, new or used goods including clothing, toys, food, and vehicles...

 boxes, and a literature counter, where publications are displayed, stored and dispensed.

Some Kingdom Halls have multiple auditorium
Auditorium
An auditorium is a room built to enable an audience to hear and watch performances at venues such as theatres. For movie theaters, the number of auditoriums is expressed as the number of screens.- Etymology :...

s to allow more than one congregation to simultaneously conduct meetings. Where there is more than one auditorium, each auditorium or the entire structure may both be referred to as "a Kingdom Hall". Larger Assembly Halls or Convention Centers of Jehovah's Witnesses, or any rented arena or stadium used for larger gatherings of Jehovah's Witnesses are also regarded 'as a large Kingdom Hall'; undignified behavior is considered inappropriate during their religious events, even if the facility is an entertainment venue
Stadium
A modern stadium is a place or venue for outdoor sports, concerts, or other events and consists of a field or stage either partly or completely surrounded by a structure designed to allow spectators to stand or sit and view the event.)Pausanias noted that for about half a century the only event...

.

Uses



Meetings for worship



Congregations typically meet in their Kingdom Halls two days each week for meetings for worship. Meetings usually open and close with song
Kingdom songs
Kingdom songs are the hymns sung by Jehovah's Witnesses at their religious meetings. Since 1879, the Watch Tower Society has published hymnal lyrics; by the 1920s they had published hundreds of adapted and original songs, and by the 1930s they referred to these as "Kingdom songs" in reference to...

 and prayer
Prayer
Prayer is a form of religious practice that seeks to activate a volitional rapport to a deity through deliberate practice. Prayer may be either individual or communal and take place in public or in private. It may involve the use of words or song. When language is used, prayer may take the form of...

. Meetings held in the Kingdom Hall include Bible readings, public talks on matters such as the Bible, family
Family
In human context, a family is a group of people affiliated by consanguinity, affinity, or co-residence. In most societies it is the principal institution for the socialization of children...

 life, Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 qualities
Quality (philosophy)
A quality is an attribute or a property. Attributes are ascribable, by a subject, whereas properties are possessible. In contemporary philosophy, the idea of qualities and especially how to distinguish certain kinds of qualities from one another remains controversial.-Background:Aristotle analyzed...

 and prophecy
Prophecy
Prophecy is a process in which one or more messages that have been communicated to a prophet are then communicated to others. Such messages typically involve divine inspiration, interpretation, or revelation of conditioned events to come as well as testimonies or repeated revelations that the...

, as well as discussion of specially-prepared study articles in The Watchtower
The Watchtower
The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah's Kingdom is an illustrated religious magazine, published semi-monthly in 194 languages by Jehovah's Witnesses via the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania and printed in various branch offices around the world...

magazine and other publications of Jehovah's Witnesses. Witnesses also meet in Kingdom Halls for preparation and prayer before engaging in their door-to-door ministry.

Schools


Among its meetings for worship, each congregation conducts a weekly Theocratic Ministry School with a common global curriculum
Curriculum
See also Syllabus.In formal education, a curriculum is the set of courses, and their content, offered at a school or university. As an idea, curriculum stems from the Latin word for race course, referring to the course of deeds and experiences through which children grow to become mature adults...

 (exceptions are made for the availability of study materials). Kingdom Halls may also be used for any of several occasionally scheduled schools, such as sign- or foreign-language classes. Kingdom Halls may also be used for schools especially developed for particular ranks, such as the Pioneer Service School for full-time preachers, and the Kingdom Ministry School for elders and ministerial servants.

In areas where the literacy
Literacy
Literacy has traditionally been described as the ability to read for knowledge, write coherently and think critically about printed material.Literacy represents the lifelong, intellectual process of gaining meaning from print...

 rate is low, congregations may also arrange to use Kingdom Halls to conduct literacy or reading classes, which non-Witnesses may also attend.

Weddings


Kingdom Halls may be used for wedding
Wedding
A wedding is the ceremony in which two people are united in marriage or a similar institution. Wedding traditions and customs vary greatly between cultures, ethnic groups, religions, countries, and social classes...

 ceremonies of Witness-baptized couples, or of an unbaptized bride
Bride
A bride is a woman about to be married or newlywed.The word may come from the Proto-Germanic verb root *brū-, meaning 'to cook, brew, or make a broth' which was the role of the daughter-in-law in primitive families...

 and groom simultaneously approaching baptism as Jehovah's Witnesses. A couple sends a request in writing to the congregation's "service committee", which assesses whether the couple is "in good standing, living in harmony with Bible principles and Jehovah’s righteous standards" and that they also approve of the members of the couple's wedding party (that is, groomsmen and bridesmaids).

Jehovah's Witnesses attach no special significance to a Kingdom Hall wedding over a secular service, and Witness couples may choose to be married elsewhere for personal or practical reasons. Kingdom Halls are not used for wedding reception
Wedding reception
A wedding reception is a party held after the completion of a marriage ceremony. It is held usually as hospitality for those who have attended the wedding, hence the name reception: the couple receives society, in the form of family and friends, for the first time as a married couple. Hosts...

s or other social events.

Funerals


Funeral
Funeral
A funeral is a ceremony for celebrating, sanctifying, or remembering the life of a person who has died. Funerary customs comprise the complex of beliefs and practices used by a culture to remember the dead, from interment itself, to various monuments, prayers, and rituals undertaken in their honor...

 services may be held in a Kingdom Hall if the body of elders considers that "the deceased had a clean reputation
Reputation
Reputation of a social entity is an opinion about that entity, typically a result of social evaluation on a set of criteria...

 and was a member of the congregation or the minor child of a member". The family of the deceased may ask any respected male member of the congregation to conduct the service, which involves a simple Bible-based discourse. Depending on family preference and local custom, a Kingdom Hall funeral may or may not have the casket
Coffin
A coffin is a funerary box used in the display and containment of dead people – either for burial or cremation.Contemporary North American English makes a distinction between "coffin", which is generally understood to denote a funerary box having six sides in plan view, and "casket", which...

ed deceased present.

Disaster relief


Disaster relief efforts of Jehovah's Witnesses are typically channeled through permanent local Disaster Relief Committees under the various branch offices, and are staged at Kingdom Halls and Assembly Halls as close as practical to the disaster area. Major disaster relief efforts include:
  • War: During the Rwandan Genocide
    Rwandan Genocide
    The Rwandan Genocide was the 1994 mass murder of an estimated 800,000 people in the small East African nation of Rwanda. Over the course of approximately 100 days through mid-July, over 500,000 people were killed, according to a Human Rights Watch estimate...

     in 1994, a Kingdom Hall property in Goma
    Goma
    Goma is a city in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the northern shore of Lake Kivu, next to the Rwandan city of Gisenyi. The lake and the two cities are in the western branch of the Great Rift Valley, and Goma lies only 13 to 18 km due south of the crater of the active...

     (then Zaire
    Zaire
    The Republic of Zaire was the name of the present Democratic Republic of the Congo between 27 October 1971 and 17 May 1997. The name of Zaire derives from the , itself an adaptation of the Kongo word nzere or nzadi, or "the river that swallows all rivers".-Self-proclaimed Father of the Nation:In...

    , now Democratic Republic of the Congo
    Democratic Republic of the Congo
    The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a state located in Central Africa. It is the second largest country in Africa by area and the eleventh largest in the world...

    ) housed 1600 Witness and non-Witness refugees. In July 1994, relief workers set up a 60-bed relief hospital at the Kingdom Hall, as well as a water treatment system.

  • Earthquake: Following the Great Hanshin earthquake
    Great Hanshin earthquake
    The Great Hanshin earthquake, or Kobe earthquake, was an earthquake that occurred on Tuesday, January 17, 1995, at 05:46 JST in the southern part of Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan. It measured 6.8 on the moment magnitude scale , and Mj7.3 on JMA magnitude scale. The tremors lasted for approximately 20...

     in 1995, six Kingdom Halls in Kobe
    Kobe
    , pronounced , is the fifth-largest city in Japan and is the capital city of Hyōgo Prefecture on the southern side of the main island of Honshū, approximately west of Osaka...

    , Japan
    Japan
    Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

     were used as relief centers and supply depots.

Following the 2010 Haiti earthquake
2010 Haiti earthquake
The 2010 Haiti earthquake was a catastrophic magnitude 7.0 Mw earthquake, with an epicentre near the town of Léogâne, approximately west of Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital. The earthquake occurred at 16:53 local time on Tuesday, 12 January 2010.By 24 January, at least 52 aftershocks...

, an Assembly Hall and three Kingdom Halls in Haiti were staffed and equipped as temporary clinics and medical centers.

  • Storm: In the ten months following Tropical Storm Allison
    Tropical Storm Allison
    Tropical Storm Allison was a tropical storm that devastated southeast Texas in June of the 2001 Atlantic hurricane season. The first storm of the season, Allison lasted an unusually long period of time for a June storm, remaining tropical or subtropical for 15 days...

     in 2001, seven Kingdom Halls were used as relief centers to dispatch volunteer crews and to store tools and materials while they organized 11,700 volunteers to repair or rebuild 723 homes.

For over two years after Hurricanes Katrina
Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was a powerful Atlantic hurricane. It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall...

 and Rita
Hurricane Rita
Hurricane Rita was the fourth-most intense Atlantic hurricane ever recorded and the most intense tropical cyclone ever observed in the Gulf of Mexico. Rita caused $11.3 billion in damage on the U.S. Gulf Coast in September 2005...

 in 2005, Kingdom Halls were used as relief centers, warehouses, and fuel depots. Nearly 17,000 Witness volunteers repaired more than 5,600 homes and 90 Kingdom Halls during their extended relief effort in the United States' Gulf Coast region.

  • Volcano: On January 18, 2002, the day after the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo, six Kingdom Halls in the vicinity received three tons of basic necessities and housed 1800 refugees. One week later, these relief centers were providing daily rations to 5000 people.

Construction


The construction crews of Kingdom Halls and larger Assembly Halls consist of volunteering Jehovah's Witnesses, sometimes from other countries, who have been pre-approved for work on construction site
Construction Site
Construction Site is a television series created by The Jim Henson Company in 1999, and consists of 7 construction vehicles. The show was broadcast on ABC Kids for a while, and had a range of videos. It was originally produced for and shown on CITV starting in 1999. In 2000 it was nominated for a...

s.

In many countries, a number of standard designs of construction are used that can be built in just a few days. The act of constructing a Kingdom Hall in this manner is called a quick-build, although typically the preparation work involving the structural foundation and surrounding surface may take several weeks prior to the scheduled build. For various reasons, not all Kingdom Halls are constructed as quick-builds or using the standard designs. There is however, a noticeably dominant architectural style of the Kingdom Hall which is often used based on standardized design concepts and models, depending on needs.

A Kingdom Hall or Assembly Hall may be created by renovating an existing structure, such as a theater or non-Witness house of worship. In areas of repeated or reputed vandalism, particularly in cities, some Kingdom Hall are built without windows to reduce the risk of property damage.

Regional Building Committee


Jehovah's Witnesses' branch offices appoint local Regional Building Committees (RBC) to oversee the construction and maintenance of their places of worship. The objective of such committees, which usually consist of five to seven persons, often with experience in the construction trades, is to coordinate the efforts of those involved so as to provide attractive and functional facilities that are financially viable.

RBCs cooperate with local congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses seeking to build or renovate a place of worship, under the direction of the local branch office. Committees help in assessing the suitability of a possible construction site, purchasing the land and materials and coordinating the efforts of volunteers from the wider area. The work of the Regional Building Committees has made it possible for Jehovah's Witnesses to build or renovate Kingdom Halls in a very short time, sometimes as little as two days, although typically the preparation work involving the structural foundation and surrounding surface may take several weeks prior to the scheduled build. Members of a Regional Building Committee work voluntarily and receive no remuneration for their work.

Funding


In 1983, an arrangement was instituted whereby Kingdom Halls are financed by loans from the Watch Tower Society. In addition to contribution boxes for local congregation expenses and "the worldwide work", each congregation has a contribution box specifically for voluntary donations toward Kingdom Hall construction. These donations are pooled by the Watch Tower Society into the Society Kingdom Hall Fund, which is used for financing the construction of Kingdom Halls worldwide, particularly in developing lands. When a congregation receives local approval to build a new Kingdom Hall, the congregation may apply for a loan from the Society Kingdom Hall Fund. The congregation repays the loan to the Watch Tower Society with nominal interest, in addition to its continued contributions to the Kingdom Hall Fund.

Maintenance


Routine maintenance of Kingdom Halls is performed by the members of the congregations that use them, typically according to a scheduled checklist. The "Kingdom Hall operating committee" oversees maintenance of the building; at least one elder or ministerial servant from each congregation is selected to be part of the operating committee. Kingdom Hall maintenance costs are covered by donations to a local fund.

External links